What Is PHP And How It Affects Your WordPress Website (Do You Need to Update?)

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PHP is a programming language used to create dynamic web pages, and it powers WordPress. The performance and security of your WP site can be heavily affected by its PHP version. So it’s recommended to always keep the PHP version up to date.

WordPress is a widely popular content management system (CMS) that powers more than 40% of all websites on the internet. While WordPress provides a robust platform for creating and managing websites, it relies heavily on PHP to function correctly.

This blog post will provide an overview of PHP and how it affects your WordPress website. Additionally, it will explain why it is important to update your WordPress website’s PHP version and provide instructions to do so. Let’s start!

How Does PHP Affect Your WordPress Website?

WordPress is built using the PHP language. Whenever someone visits your WordPress website, the server executes PHP code to generate the content displayed on the page. This means that the performance and security of your WP website are heavily reliant on the version of PHP that your website is using.

Not only does PHP power the core functionality of WordPress, but it is also used by themes and plugins. Nearly all WordPress themes and plugins are written using PHP code, which means they require a specific version of PHP in order to run correctly.

An outdated PHP version can lead to slow website loading times, security vulnerabilities, and potential compatibility issues with WordPress themes and plugins. Additionally, older versions of PHP may lack support for new features and technologies, limiting the functionality of your website.

Why Is It Important To Update WordPress’s PHP Version?

Updating your WordPress website’s PHP version is crucial for website performance, security, and staying current with new features and technology. WordPress often releases updates that require a specific version of PHP to take advantage of new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements.

One of the main benefits of updating your WordPress website’s PHP version is improved website performance. Each new version of PHP comes with performance enhancements that can improve the speed and efficiency of your website.

Additionally, newer versions of PHP have better memory management, meaning they can handle more requests and reduce the likelihood of your website crashing.

Another benefit of updating your WordPress website’s PHP version is the improved security. Each new version of PHP comes with security improvements and bug fixes that can help protect your website from hackers and malware. By keeping your PHP version up-to-date, you can reduce the risk of your website being hacked or compromised.

How To Find Out Your Current WordPress PHP Version

There are several ways to check your website’s PHP version. Typically, your hosting provider displays your website’s PHP version in your hosting account dashboard or cPanel. You can also easily check it from your WordPress dashboard under “Site Health Screen”.

Open the WordPress dashboard and click the “Site Health screen“. There you will see your website’s current PHP version with other information. If PHP is updated to the latest version, you will see something like this Your site is running the current version of PHP (8.1.16)”.

You can also utilize WordPress plugins to find out the current version of PHP. Some popular WordPress plugins that allow you to check your PHP version include Display PHP Version, Version Info, etc.

How To Update The PHP Version Of Your WordPress Site

The PHP version of your WordPress website is usually automatically updated by your hosting provider. If you find that your website is running an outdated version of PHP, then you should contact your hosting provider and ask them to update it.

It’s also possible to manually update the PHP version of your WordPress site, which we will discuss below.

Before updating your website’s PHP version, you must back up your website files and database in case something goes wrong during the update process.

Also, make sure that all the themes, plugins, as well as the WordPress version are up to date. This will ensure that the website is compatible with the updated PHP version.

Follow the below steps once you have completed the above steps:

1. Log in to your hosting cPanel.

2. Go to “Select PHP Version” under Software.

3. Select the desired PHP version or the latest stable version available.

4. Click “Apply” to apply the changes.

5. Once the PHP version is updated, you should check if everything works correctly.

What Is PHP?

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, which is a server-side scripting language used to create dynamic web pages. It is an open-source, free-to-use language and is a popular choice for web developers due to its versatility, ease of use, and ability to integrate with other web technologies.

PHP was initially created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, who created a set of Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts to help him track visits to his personal website. Over time, the scripts evolved into a more robust programming language, and in 1998, PHP version 3 was released.

Since then, PHP has continued to evolve and is used by millions of developers around the world. It has become a popular choice for building dynamic websites. Many popular content management systems, including WordPress and Drupal, are written in PHP.


As you see, updating the PHP version of your WordPress website is vital for improving website performance, security and staying current with new features and technology.

We hope this guide has helped you understand why it is important to keep your website’s PHP version up-to-date and how to check and update it. If you have any questions or need help updating your website’s PHP version, please leave a comment. We are always happy to help!

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